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and he wants to take me again!” Homosexuality and Gay Fandom in A Nightmare On Elm Street: Freddy’s Revenge

Posted on December 13, 2016

“He’s inside me, and he wants to take me again!” Homosexuality and Gay Fandom in A Nightmare On Elm Street: Freddy’s Revenge

Guest Post

Guest Author: Jordan Phillips

During my Masters’ degree, I decided to explore the nascent field of “queer horror.” This phrase may sound familiar, or it might sound entirely alien. Queer horror is the intersection between queerness – that is, non-heterosexual, non-normativity – and the horror genre. In 1997, a film scholar named Harry M. Benshoff wrote the seminal Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film. Benshoff explores the rich and deep-seated connections between homosexuality and horror, dating back to the earliest days of celluloid recording. One of the leading German Expressionists filmmakers, F. W. Murnau, was a homosexual male. He made film versions of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and what is now considered an influential masterpiece of cinematic Expressionism, Nosferatu (1922). Yes, perhaps the most iconic image in all cinematic history was created by a gay person. I often get asked, “What is it about horror that’s queer?” I often respond, “What isn’t queer about horror?”

One of the most infamous queer horror films ever made is A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), the first sequel to Wes Craven’s horror masterpiece A Nightmare On Elm Street from the previous year. Made during the height of the AIDS crisis, Freddy’s Revenge has been subject to rigorous analysis in relation to its homoerotic subtext. The film tells the story of Jesse, a sexually confused boy dealing with Freddy Krueger, a deformed monster who uses Jesse’s pubescent body as a vehicle for his killing. There are many great lines throughout the film, but its most quotable must be the unforgettable: “Something is trying to get inside my body!” Jesse has been identified as horror cinema’s first male “scream queen” (a prototypical role usually reserved for females), which goes hand in hand with the film’s homoerotic charge. There’s also the homoerotic relationship between Jesse and his handsome jock frenemy Grady, as well as Jesse’s gay gym teacher who has a penchant for young boys and BDSM. The latter of which leads to a scene in the film I still cannot believe made its way into a mainstream horror film in the 1980s, in which Jesse goes to a leather bar and sees his teacher kink-slapped to death in the boys’ showers. This actually happened. In 1985. Just let that soak in. Read more

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